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Young rooster picking on pullet

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by saltykins, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. saltykins

    saltykins Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Hawaii
    Hi all,
    I have a flock of five chickens, 2 ferals at 5mo and 3 RIRs at 4mo. All of them were raised from chick-time. Of the two ferals, one is a pullet and the other is a roo. In the past two weeks I've noticed that the feral roo picks on the feral pullet -- he jabs at her neck/wingside with his beak, he chases her randomly throughout the day, and he plucks out her feathers. She still HAS feathers, and at first I thought the bunches of feathers on the run ground were from falling out, but then I caught him red-beaked tearing them out.

    I put him in a small coop/run designed for the RIRs when they were younger inside the main run in the hopes that jail time would fix his attitude. After a week, I let him out, and in a few hours he was back to picking on the pullet. He was also running the three RIRs around, but I expected as much since pecking order. They run into the small coop when he intimidates them, or the feral pullet intimidates them since she doesn't like them either, but my main concern is the feral pullet being picked on since she sticks to the roo like glue despite his terrible behavior!

    My question is: is this a part of the roo maturing, or is he just a bully? Is there any way to try and 'steer' him on the correct path or should I get ready for my first butchering?

    The coop is 5x4 and the run is approx. 20x12.

    Any advice and/or comments are greatly appreciated! Thank you!
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    He is maturing, and like all teenage boys he has no idea how to woo the girls yet. I would keep a close eye on his behavior and if you feel he is too rough then separate him. Listen to your gut on this one. You have already seen that he is pulling out feathers, so you know he is rougher than he ought to be. Monitor him to get an idea of how he is treating his ladies. If he is treating them too harshly then try separation for awhile. If he continues to be too rough once he is returned to the girls then maybe he only gets conjugal visits, or put into the pot.

    I had an aggressive roo that I kept making excuses for, but in the end the amount of damage he did to his girls was inexcusable. I should have gotten rid of my roo a lot sooner than I did. I kept hoping he would get better, but he never did. He just kept getting worse. When I culled him he was the most satisfying meal I've ever had.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:X2

    Here, he'd be on a very short leash and the hatchet would have a sharp edge maintained at all times.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  4. saltykins

    saltykins Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Hawaii
    Thank you, CMV and Fred's Hens! I appreciate it a lot!! My mother is a little wary of me being ready to put him on the table, so I wanted to double check and make sure I wasn't being too intolerant. This is my first time having chickens so every experience is a new one.

    All right, I will be keeping a closer eye on him. I'll keep him with the flock for another week. If he's not overly aggressive or plucking out more feathers, then I'll cautiously keep monitoring him. Otherwise, he will be removed.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Fred's Hens :

    Quote:X2

    Here, he'd be on a very short leash and the hatchet would have a sharp edge maintained at all times.

    x 3



    Here is where a good mature Rooster really comes in handy. He shows a young cockerel how to act around the ladies and will kick a young cockerel's butt feathers for being a bully.


    Since you do not have a Roo - you will need help mold your boy into a better man. Sometimes time way helps - let the young pullets mature a bit - as they mature slower then cockerels. Sometimes being called for dinner is the only way a rough cockerel learns...........and they are so tasty. Plus you would be amazed how relaxed your girls become once he is removed from bullying them.​
     
  6. saltykins

    saltykins Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Hawaii
    Thanks, Horsefeatherz! Well, I am hoping that he will mature into a good rooster as we do have mongooses and a feral cat cruising our property. I'm not too worried about them attacking the chickens, but a good rooster would make a nice insurance. We do have leftover coops from the previous owners that are completely separated from the main coop, so at least there's somewhere to put him if he gets worse...
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  7. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never give a young roo the benefit of the doubt on roughness. I did it one time and he nearly killed one of my hens...never again. One flash of super aggressiveness from a roo and he's dinner from now on.
     
  8. saltykins

    saltykins Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Hawaii
    Oh dear. Well, I guess we have the RIR roo to fall back on if this one doesn't work out...
     

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